Health

Listen: How does human composting work?


California Healthline senior reporter, Bernard J. Wolfson, appeared on KMOX, a St. Louisin mid-October to discuss new California law that would allow “human composting” as an alternative to burial and cremation.

Human composting, also known as “natural organic reduction,” may appeal to those concerned about the health of the environment. Cremation leaves behind a huge carbon footprint, while the toxic chemicals used to embalm bodies before burial can leach into the soil.

With the new law, California becomes the fifth state to allow natural decomposing, in which the body is placed inside a metal or wooden vessel surrounded by organic matter such as wood chips, straw and grass. alfalfa, which is then reduced to soil within six weeks. up to six months.

Composting costs can range from $3,000 to nearly $8,000. Compared to the average funeral cost is just under $7,000 for a cremation and just over $9,400 for a traditional burial with a coffin and vault.

Companies offering natural organic mitigation see this as a significant new business opportunity in the $20 billion per year funeral industry.

California’s law goes into effect in 2027, giving officials time to establish regulations that will govern human composting in the state.

Read Wolfson’s coverage of the new law here. Spanish version available here.

This story is produced by KHNpublish California Healthlinean editorially independent service of California Health Care Foundation.

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